Kiss of the Spider Woman

1972 Words8 Pages
Kiss of the Spider Woman Often times, in media and popular culture, men are shown to be the dominant force in relationships and women are supposed to take on a submissive and supportive role. This relationship is advertised as proper, guaranteed to lead to happiness. Manuel Puig, in the novel Kiss of the Spider Woman, argues against these stereotypes through the construction of his characters, Molina and Valentin. Molina, a homosexual who is identified as the heroine, plays an active and involved role in the relationship between her and Valentin, a political activist. The advertised machismo quality, or an exaggerated masculine quality, in men is initially found to be evident in Valentin, however, it gradually subsides as Molina shows to be the stronger character. Puig’s theme also shows up in the relationship between the newspaper reporter and the retired theatrical singer in one of Molina’s later stories. In a similar manner to Molina’s relationship with Valentin, their relationship also breaks the common stereotype of the dominant male. Both couples learn how to understand each other, and they learn how love is a mutual garden tended by both sides of the relationship. Both couples also develop a willingness to change for the other’s sake, and both sides learn to consider the other in higher regards than his or herself, resulting in self-sacrifice on both sides, even to the point of death. This kind of love is not dominated by machismo but by a joint effort to uphold each other, and this, Puig argues, is the key to happiness. In both relationships, trust is built up through the act of venting to each other of sufferings and past conflicts. Both couples are very closed up toward the beginning. Valentin would make jokes out of Molina’s movies; Molina even had a mind to betray Valentin for her own sake. In the same way, when the reporter asks the singer to reveal

More about Kiss of the Spider Woman

Open Document